NHL Scores: Sabres end skid at 18 games; Avalanche take first place; MacKinnon ejected; and more

Mar 31, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (55) and defenseman Colin Miller (33) celebrate with goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Celebration time in Buffalo as the Sabres came out fast and beat the Flyers to snap an 18 game winless streak. As awful as the Sabres have been, they played like a well oiled machine to take out Philadelphia by a resounding 6-1 score. The Flyers have been dreadful defensively allowing 75 goals against in the month of March – the worst total in 27 years per TSN Stats.

NHL Scores: Sabres finally end their winless streak

Two shorthanded goals by Brandon Montour in the third period was simply icing on the cake. The defenseman who is certain to be traded by April 12th had a huge smile and a sense of relief written all over his face.

“Obviously relieved,” Montour said. “We’ve spoken enough times. Obviously, we’re frustrated with the results we’re having, losing streak and whatnot. But guys have been positive. All the guys tried to pick each other up after every game. We’re doing a great job of that. So tonight was kind of a full 60 minutes where everybody was kind of moving, everybody was feeling good. Good thing we got the good result tonight.”

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Linus Ullmark picked up the victory in net making 31 saves. The Sabres went a staggering 0-15-3 before finally securing a W. It’s a new modern day record since the NHL implemented the shootout to eliminate ties back in the 2005-06 season. By the way, the folks in Buffalo celebrated pretty hard on social media last night. Good for them.

NHL News: Avs blowout secures first place; Nathan MacKinnon ejected

nathan mackinnon ejected
Mar 31, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) hits Arizona Coyotes right wing Conor Garland (83) as defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin (46) attempts to restrain him as center Nathan MacKinnon (29) gets up from the ice in the third period at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Joonas Donskoi notched a first period hat trick (13,14,15) and finished the game with 4 points. His offense was all the Avalanche would need but not all they would get. This was a huge blowout over the Coyotes by a 9-3 final. The Avs big guns also chipped in with Mikko Rantanen scoring a goal (21) and two assists, Gabriel Landeskog had two goals and one assist, and Nathan MacKinnon had two helpers.

“It’s been a good season so far, the last month or five weeks we’ve really hit our stride once we started getting healthy,” Landeskog said. “We knew what kind of team we had, and I think we’ve shown it over the last five, six weeks. There’s still steps we can take. For us, it’s important that we keep working, keep trying to achieve first place in the division when the season is over and put ourselves in a good spot for the playoffs.”

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The win propels the Avs into sole possession of first place as the Kings defeated the Golden Knights yesterday by a 4-2 score. However Colorado will have to wait and see if there will be any further discipline to Nathan MacKinnon. Things got very chippy in the third period and MacKinnon threw Connor Garland’s helmet into his face and was ejected.

To be honest; after Connor McDavid only received a $5000 fine for a vicious hit on Jesperi Kotkaniemi this won’t even be looked at. Superstars have different rules – they are just unwritten.

In other West action the Wild were defeated by the Sharks 4-2. San Jose has somehow managed to put themselves only 4 points back of the struggling Blues for the last playoff spot.

NHL Scores: Auston Matthews scores goal 24 on the year; Leafs ground Jets

Auston Matthews now has goals in three straight games and raises his league leading total to 24. The line of Matthews, Mitch Marner and Zach Hyman led the charge to down the Jets 3-1. The victory over Winnipeg now has the Leafs in sole possession of first place by three points. They’ve bounced back nicely going 4-0-1 in their last five. Meanwhile, goalie Jack Campbell is still unbeaten this season at 7-0-0.

“Tonight was big one for us against a team that’s right up there with us in the standings,” Matthews said. “For us, these two games [against Winnipeg] are extremely important.”

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